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Deep Green Sea's 'The Art of Making' Puts a New Spin on 'How It's Made' Videos

01.11.13 @ 12:19AM Tags : , ,

Videos that give insight into how something is made or constructed are absolutely fascinating to me, and I’ve spent countless hours pouring through many that would probably put the average person to sleep. That’s why when I came across Deep Green Sea’s The Art of Making – which details professionals who work with their hands — I couldn’t help but be impressed by the skill involved. Click through to check out the three videos they’ve made so far in the series.

Here is a description from the creators:

The ‘Art of Making’ series aspires to display and highlight certain people, which go against the spirit of today’s pessimism and desperation. They dare to dream and create with zeal and imagination. Armed with passion for knowledge and emotion, they attempt to combine the precision of science with the elegance and resourcefulness of art. We thank them wholeheartedly for their contribution.

The Carpenter:

That video was shot with available light on the Canon 5D and 7D, edited in Final Cut Pro X, tracked with PFTrack, and composited in After Effects. Check out two more from their series below.

Red Dress:

Alma Flamenca:

I’ve seen so many of these about a wide range of topics, and it’s not very often that I come across ones that are made this well. Since the camera is moving in most of the shots — whether it’s on a slider/dolly or handheld — all of the text must be tracked so that it stays in place and moves with the objects in the videos. This can be very time-consuming to get right if you’ve ever done it, but it’s executed perfectly seamlessly here. While PFTrack is rather expensive software (as is After Effects depending on how you’re buying it), the rest was done with pretty cheap equipment. You could actually achieve a similar result in many different programs, but there is no doubt they used Pixel Farm’s software because it’s one of the best.

What do you guys think? Have you ever made any videos like this or seen any others like it before?



We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 25 COMMENTS

  • Mr. Williams on 01.11.13 @ 1:05AM

    As someone who is at the moment rendering one of these exact types of videos I can appreciate the effort it takes.

    • Mr. Williams on 01.11.13 @ 1:06AM

      Allthough you guys could have posted this a week or two ago!! Could have used the reference…

  • You mentioned that a similar result could be achieved with some other software programs….could someone elaborate on that? Maybe a more affordable solution?

  • Scott Miller on 01.11.13 @ 1:45AM

    Love, love, love the Red Dress…… Very inspiring and uplifting.

  • Desmond Williams on 01.11.13 @ 2:03AM

    This is my first comment on this site EVER and I’m glad I saved it for this post. These videos along with the many others NoFilmSchool provides, are what keeps myself and people like me inspired. Just knowing that with time and a “No Quit” attitude the possibilities are endless. Thanks once again.

  • Love these kinds of videos and these are superb examples. Thanks for sharing.
    Just finished my first video of this kind, about a blacksmith,

  • I really enjoy watching these types of videos as well. There’s a series called Made By Hand which has videos quite similar to the art of making. If you get the chance I definitely recommend having a watch of the Made By Hand videos as well.

  • Well done, it looks great!
    But…I don’t know about you, but I felt like I was spending more time watching the graphics than watching what the person was doing. It’s informative…but at the same time distracting in a way. The only analogy I can think of is in the early 2000′s when Flash was really big for websites. Everything moved and made a noise…it can distract if not used wisely.

    Overall, very creative and unique. Well done.

    • Same thought here. It gets old after 30 seconds in. It’s a visual trick, expertly used in the titles for “Stranger than fiction”, and since has been seen in commercials etc.
      The film itself doesn’t win much depth because of it, rather it’s a bit distracting.

      Well yeah, form over function once again.

    • Pierre de Villiers on 01.12.13 @ 3:49AM

      definitely a good point to bring up, but does every single piece need to have a structured story line?

      it can sometimes be nice to just create. explore. and move along to the next thing…what do you think?

  • wow the tracking is perfect

  • Gotta say not impressed at all. Doesn’t highlight any of the actual woodworking – just screams “Look what we can do in post!” Case in point, the final scene in the woodworking one where the finished piece is turned in the lathe.. “23 degrees”. What does that have to do with anything?

    No story, no highlight of the craft, just a bunch of gratuitous music, cutting, tracking and AE.

    For comparison, here’s a video highlighting how something is made that has story to it, is actually interesting to watch, and behold, NO USELESS EFFECTS:

  • I’m in partial agreement with kfrizzle …. it looks great, but the pre-occupation with the effects has overwhelmed the story telling …. they don’t tell you jack about the skill or passion involved in the craft.

    HOWEVER, i could definitely see utilizing the technique here and there with some restraint: that said, no chance i’m paying $1600 for the pftrack.

    someone above asked about replicating that with cheaper software and/or AE …. any further guidance on that ?

  • No one even noticed that everyone of these how to videos used absolutely zero interview/voice over. They let the work do all the talking and there was no need for further explanation or narration.

  • I think they’re great and the post work adds enormously to both viewing pleasure and appreciating the crafts shown. More importantly, I think they work extremely well as contemporary promos for ‘old school’ crafts.

    Even if… at times, the post work does take your attention off the subject at hand.

    There’s always a place for a more ‘traditional’ spproach (KFrizzles link for example), it all depends on who your intended audience is.

    In a pre fab, fast paced, throw away culture, something that makes a disciplined craft ‘sexy’ and ‘alive’ has got to be good.

    So far as doing something similar – these are well timed, I’m hoping to be doing some promos for local craftspeople/independent businesses. I’m not (as things stand) going to have their level of post but will certainly take inspiration to build on the linked example.

    95% hand held, DVX100b and FX1 – I shot this in an hour last year to re-familiarise with the cameras while on a short stint working with local media students. Turn the sound up or use headphones.

    Password: promo2

    John LeB

  • I do a lot of tracking for film, incorporating live action and CGi. There is absolutely nothing there that can’t be accomplished easily in Syntheyes which is the cheapest full tool set tracker out there. The foundries ‘camera tracker’ plug-in for AE will also do any of that stuff and although I’ve not used it much the new built in 3d tracker in AE itself will accomplish this. There’s nothing that difficult in these shot to be honest. And that isn’t me dissing the film maker by the way, these are brilliantly made and very creative. They show what can be done with some simple tools and not a lot of money. they prove all you need is the imagination. Everything is well thought out and executed.


  • I thought this was a lot of VFX for the sake of VFX. It didn’t really help the narrative very much or at worst was distracting and unnecessary. “Scissors” “Sewing Machine” Really? You need to tell me what those are?

    • I agree with you. Both the footage and VFX were great, they just didn’t work together well. I couldn’t keep up with following both the visuals and the text. It was all too fast. Also some of the VFX were quite pointless. Nevertheless great effort!

  • It’s nice to see some new thinking and artistic touch to these “How it’s made”-type-clips. I’m not either here to diss the videos or those who made it but in my opinion they could have been better made in terms of the relevance that the graphics show. The choices made seem to be more artistic, taking composition and screen space in account and less about information that actually “feels” informative. For example; the lens elements in the lens used to shoot the model were presented graphically as an overlay but the focal length were left out, which would have been interesting to know. An informative way they used the graphics was the borders around the model that showed the framing. Would love to see more of that kind than “seemingly” random numbers flashing by all to fast like in a music video.
    Anyway, loved the look and aesthetics. And the camera work as well.

  • The visuals in these videos are brilliant, just a pity I was totally distracted from them by following and watching the text overlay which were also brilliant. I think it was just way overdone. Things like these are usually referred to as “gimmiky” and in 2 years when everyone has figured how to do it and overdone it by a million miles it will make your brain explode. story telling is about using visuals effectively and adding music for mood and they already do this very well. If the visuals were crap. then by all means spice it up but you dont have to

  • Composition is an elusive desire to attract many emotions to a pleasurable feeling, yet to convey a message to the viewer… I find that when the content has no strong dialogue, we see that the camera moves to give depth to the story, adversely when there is strong dialogue in your message, the camera is still and it captures the facial and tonality in the message.

    This FX’s is a new way to bring some strength to a story with no dialogue, Perhaps it was overused, although it makes a strong point on how it can be used when you lack strong dialogue in you content, you can speak visually, this should be added to your box of creation for future use.

    I for one, applaud the creators for thinking out of the box and giving us another way to view content structure. Hope that all of you reading these post will also come up with another way to tell a story, for this is what we do, and we do it for your visual enjoyment.